alloy

noun
al·​loy | \ˈa-ˌlȯi also ə-ˈlȯi \

Definition of alloy 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the degree of mixture with base metals : fineness

2 : a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten also : the state of union of the components

3a : an admixture that lessens value

b : an impairing alien element

4 : a compound, mixture, or union of different things an ethnic alloy of many peoples

5 archaic : a metal mixed with a more valuable metal to give durability or some other desired quality

alloy

verb
al·​loy | \ə-ˈlȯi also ˈa-ˌlȯi \
alloyed; alloying; alloys

Definition of alloy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : temper, moderate

b : to impair or debase by admixture

2 : to reduce the purity of by mixing with a less valuable metal

3 : to mix so as to form an alloy

intransitive verb

: to lend itself to being alloyed iron alloys well

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Examples of alloy in a Sentence

Noun

testing the properties of various alloys a part made of aluminum alloy

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But in general, traditional German knives have a lower HRC*, which means the blades are softer—easier to sharpen but less likely to hold that edge—while Japanese knives use a harder steel alloy, taking and holding a sharper edge. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "How To Buy Kitchen Knives Like a Pro," 24 Oct. 2018 The researchers found that more than 98 percent of the meteorite consists of kamacite, an alloy of iron and 5 to 10 percent nickel, that's formed in space and is found only in meteorites, which are rocks that fall from space to Earth's surface. Kimberly Hickok, Fox News, "Mineral never seen on Earth found inside Russian meteorite," 2 Oct. 2018 The components not covered by the heat shield are made of a molybdenum alloy, which has a melting point of more than 4,000°F. Brian Resnick, Vox, "NASA is shooting a spaceship at the sun. It might help us solve a huge mystery.," 8 Aug. 2018 The case comes in King Gold, a unique alloy of gold and platinum developed by Hublot. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "Time and Place: Hublot in Brooklyn," 26 Sep. 2018 Both laptops are built from magnesium-lithium alloy, both on the top and bottom cover. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer's Swift 5 aims to be the lightest laptop to include Intel's new Whiskey Lake chips," 29 Aug. 2018 The aluminum alloys or composite material used for the wings are designed to withstand being exposed to the elements, and the large surface area would require many gallons of paint, adding substantially to the weight of the airplane. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: All about airline paint jobs," 3 June 2018 To our ancestors, this exotic alloy must have seemed like it was sent by entities beyond our understanding. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 This includes the integration of new high-tech composites and alloys that each have unique requirements during the manufacturing process. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Four Reasons We Don’t Have Flying Cars—Yet," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Automakers are making nearly continuous improvements to vehicle engines and structures by alloying their steels with an evolving list of special ingredients such as manganese, titanium, chromium, and nickel. Bengt Halvorson, Car and Driver, "Toyota’s New Electric Motor Cuts Need for Costly (and Overwhelmingly China-Sourced) Rare-Earth Metal," 27 Feb. 2018 The light gray or whitish metal can be alloyed with steel to form materials that are stable at high temperatures. Thomas Biesheuvel, Bloomberg.com, "China Sends One of the West’s Most Critical Materials Soaring," 11 Sep. 2017 Anger and anguish alloyed to reveal a deep, familiar frustration. Bill Oram, Orange County Register, "Clippers one game away from offseason after 96-92 Game 5 loss to Jazz," 25 Apr. 2017 Yttrium and neodymium are alloyed to make the magnets in turbines for windmills. Nelson Ching, National Geographic, "How Acid—and Bacteria—Could Make Recycling Your Phone Greener," 10 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alloy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alloy

Noun

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for alloy

Noun

French aloi, from Old French alei, from aleir to combine, from Latin alligare to bind — more at ally

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Statistics for alloy

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alloy

The first known use of alloy was in 1593

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More Definitions for alloy

alloy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alloy

: a metal made by melting and mixing two or more metals or a metal and another material together

alloy

noun
al·​loy | \ˈa-ˌlȯi, ə-ˈlȯi\

Kids Definition of alloy

: a substance made of two or more metals melted together Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

alloy

noun
al·​loy | \ˈal-ˌȯi, ə-ˈlȯi \

Medical Definition of alloy 

1 : the degree of mixture with base metals

2 : a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten also : the state of union of the components

Other Words from alloy

alloy \ə-​ˈlȯi, ˈal-​ˌȯi \ transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on alloy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alloy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alloy

Spanish Central: Translation of alloy

Nglish: Translation of alloy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alloy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alloy

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